Category Archives: Health

Soak up the Sun at Vitae-Mine

By Erin

Neil picks his sammich toppings

When Neil and I walked into Vitae-Mine,
a build-your-own sandwich and salad bar in the heart of downtown Ottawa, I felt almost like I was walking onto a beach boardwalk in Miami. The palette is pure citrus, and the high ceilings and bright lights give the impression of a clear, sunny sky.

The feeling was entrenched as we perused the colourful display of fresh sandwich and salad fixings and were greeted by one of the near gleeful “sandwich fabricators.”

 
My lunch was prepared by owner Marc, whose previous gig at a coffee shop had him weighing in at 240 pounds, but whose year and a half at Vitae-Mine have whittled him into a svelte stunner whose teeth are apparently polished daily by angels.

I had a spinach salad with miso ginger dressing and marinated tofu, as well as a “booty shaker” smoothie. Neil had a veganized sumo tofu sandwich, a “bossa nova” smoothie and a B-goods cookie.

Now, you know how I feel about salads that are not wrapped in rice paper or bread or pizza, but I thought that I really should try the salad since it was sort of Vitae-mine “in the raw.” If the dressing was bland, if the greens were limp, if the tofu was mushy, there’d be no hiding it.

I’m pleased to report that none of these deficiencies were evident. The dressing was interesting – spicy, which was unusual and neat. The tofu was tasty and had that neither too-soft-nor-too-leathery texture that is surprisingly hard to achieve. The spinach was also unusually good – noticeably less bitter then most of the stuff I’ve bought of late.

Neil’s meal was even better – it was basically the same thing I had, only piled upon a crusty (in the good way) and seedy (also in the good way) roll.

My smoothie beat out Neil’s, though. The booty shaker was far more flavourful than the bossa nova, and earned Marc a lecture by me on the merits of stevia extract.

On the whole then, Vitae-Mine is a great place for the sort of veg*n lunch which is hearty enough to be satisfying, while healthy enough to entitle you to something smothered in Daiya for dinner.

I should note that Vitae-Mine’s menu is a bit deceiving, actually containing no vegan options. I can state with certainty, however, that the staff are well-aware of what “vegan” means, and that they’ll happily accommodate us by swapping in tofu and nuts for meat and cheese. Also, all of their salad dressings are vegan!

What’s more, owner Marc is keen to respond to the needs of his customers. He’s expanded the restaurant to include both a smoothie and a coffee bar, as well as a number of gluten-free options. He’s eager to understand us veggies better and is slated for a consultation with our restaurant outreach program.

Smoothie and coffee bars

So if you work downtown, take advantage of your NCVA member discount and head to Vitae-Mine for a sammich and a smoothie; and maybe take a second to tell the staff how they might attract more vegan customers. In fact, tell Marc himself, if only for a glimpse of those pearly whites :).

Being vegan doesn’t have to be a challenge

By Kim

Oprah.

A couple of weeks ago Oprah aired an episode about she and her staff taking a one week challenge to be vegan. Great! I am happy that such a respected and well-watched celebrity would do something like that, and bring veganism to a wide audience. I missed most of the show and only caught the ending so I went to her website so check out some clips and see what she had up. It was great, for the most part, but I do have a few critiques.

Firstly it is presented as a challenge, which reinforces the misconception that eating a vegan diet is difficult. I recently had some colleagues ask me about what kind of meals they should start with or where they can take their reluctant spouse out to eat to show them that animal-less food really can be delicious. While it can be a steep learning curve, there are tonnes of resources out there and it gets easier with practice. The NCVA has a very thorough business directory, for example:

Sometimes, I ask them to think about what they ate for their past few meals. Then, I asked them to eat that without meat/cheese/eggs. Sometimes you can’t just remove the animal product, but you need to replace it with something. Kathy Freston, author of The Veganist and the driving force behind Oprah’s challenge, had some good substitutes on Oprah’s Web site.  The NCVA also has a thorough listing of substitutions, including ratings and where to buy them. The hard work has already been done for you!

The grocery list on Oprah’s site is a bit ridiculous. How many of us have the funds to support such a crazy grocery bill? You don’t need to buy organic to be vegan. Although, it is sometimes healthier for you and the planet (only if the food doesn’t travel 2000-km to get to you), it’s a little unreasonable of Oprah to mostly include organic brand names on her shopping list. The last time I checked, normal Heinz Ketchup or even No-Name is just as vegan as Annie’s Natural Organic Ketchup!

If we want everyone to consider a vegan lifestyle, we should include things that everyone has access to. How many of us have regular access to a Whole Foods? No, most of us shop at the local Food Basics and pick up the specialties at Market Organics, Herb and Spice, or Rainbow Foods. While many vegans make an effort to buy organic, it is not accurate to imply that eating vegan requires buying only expensive organic specialty products.

So, I suggest doing your research as to what you can afford and what you want to spend on food. Something that I always tell people is that it’s much cheaper to buy dried beans and rehydrate them yourself than to buy the canned stuff. It is also healthier because there is less sodium.  Organic tofu is cheaper than almost any meat out there.  And lentils are very cheap, but a nutritional powerhouse.

For more info speak to a vegan friend, colleague, or an NCVA volunteer. We can steer you in the right direction.  Just email us at ncva.avcn@gmail.com.

Say no to Reese’s, and YES to Camino!

By Pamela

There is one food combo that I love probably more than anything else in the world: chocolate and peanut butter. In fact, I just finished an Auntie Loo’s chocolate and peanut butter cupcake. It was divine, and a lovely occasional treat.

And who didn’t love Reese’s Pieces and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups when they were kids? Heck, I imagine most adults probably still love them. But for vegans and anyone even remotely health conscious, they are pretty sinister; chock full of saturated fat and hydrogenated oil, not to mention cow’s milk derivatives. It’s amazing how a childhood treat can look so different through the vegan lens.

I used to make my own peanut butter cups at home, using melted fair trade organic dark chocolate, organic peanut butter, and icing sugar. And Alicia Silverstone has a good recipe for them, which you can find here. They’re great, don’t get me wrong. But they require time and effort, and sometimes I just don’t have that. And sometimes Auntie Loo’s is closed. So what’s a choco-pb fiend to do?

Camino chocolate snack bar.

Thankfully, Ottawa-based Camino has come up with a fantastic solution: chocolate and peanut butter snack bars. They also make them with almond butter. The 180 calorie bars are organic, vegan, and fair trade. But perhaps most importantly, they are absolutely delicious. You can buy them for between $1.39 and $1.79 at places like Rainbow Foods, Herb and Spice, Natural Food Pantry, and Bridgehead. Find out more information on their Web site. They are also super convenient. You can add them to your purse food repertoire.

A great purse food option.
A word of warning though: These are highly addictive. They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, I kind of have a problem. They are currently my favorite thing to eat. I still forcefeed myself vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, but it’s Camino snack bars I’m yearning for. What’s not to love? They are every bit as delicious as a Reese’s PB cup, without the bad stuff, and with many additional benefits. So pick one up soon, and get ready for deliciousness!

Learn to Love Salad Again

By Erin

Once upon a time, salads were made with iceburg lettuce and provided vegans with hours of crunchy fun.

Then came the 21st century, when the so-called top chefs of the world decided that iceburg lettuce was for rednecked mouth-breathers and that refined palates crave the nutritious leafy greens that both look and taste as though they were collected from someone’s front yard immediately after said yard was treated with pesticide.

You know the stuff of which I speak. And despite the sycophantic head-bobbing and mmm-mmm-ing you feel compelled to do when presented with these bitter snarls of limp weeds, you know you hate it too.

Alas, the food snobs have the backing of the nutrition people who proselytize so violently about the health benefits of leafy greens that I’ve become convinced that I will die of malnutrition if I fail to consume them in the recommended vast quantities.

My solution: the Salad Roll.

Ingredients:
1) Rice Wrappers. These are available in any Chinatown grocery. Try to find the rectangular ones – some sadist came up with the round ones just to screw with people.
2) Weeds (i.e. leafy greens)
3) Fake meat – my favourite is Nelakee ham log. Tofurky will do in a pinch.
4) Other fruits and vegetables. Use ones that can be sliced into long skinny strips, which keeps them from falling out of the roll. I like apples, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, avocados, enoki mushrooms, etc. I’d advise against celery, unless your teeth have horselike snipping powers.
5) Salt and pepper
6) Toasted nuts. This is optional, but it does add a whole other yummy dimension to a salad roll. Slivered almonds are my favourite, but whatever you have on hand will work – I used walnuts for the ones pictured below.

Now for the wrapping part…

Set up your rolling area near the kitchen sink.

Prepare all of your fillings and have them within easy reach.

Make sure your ingredients are ready - once the wrapper is wet, your rolling window is narrow

Place a pan large enough to accommodate your wrappers in your kitchen sink and fill it with very hot water.

Submerge your first wrapper in the water (one at a time or they’ll stick together) for about 5 seconds. If you are too lazy to get a pan, holding it under the faucet works too.

Place the wrapper on a flat, clean surface. Load it up with your fillings. Pile it on – you’d be amazed how well leafy greens compress. Add salt and pepper.

Roll it as you would roll sushi or a cinnamon roll – not trying to get the wrapper around all of the filling at once, but sort of spiraling the filling in. If you’re very dexterous, you can try tucking in the ends, but it really isn’t necessary. If your veggies are in long strips and your roll is pretty tight, everything will stay in.

Finished mixed green/carrot/tomato/pepper/walnut/avocado salad rolls

And there you are.

If you had to eat this as a salad it would take you all day and, if you’re like me, you’d just wind up picking out all the tasty stuff and leaving the greens.

Some final notes:
1) Try slicing harder veggies like carrots with a veggie peeler instead of a knife. Less risk of wrapper breakage.
2) Don’t use kale. This salad-improvement strategy can handle the woody bitterness of leafy greens, but the vinyl tarpaulin that is raw kale is a whole different level of eew.
3) Individuals who have served these to new romantic partners have reported some awkwardness.

This one is spinach/tomato/avocado/celery(bad!)/pepper/walnut

My healthy Valentine

By Natasha Kyssa
http://www.simplyraw.ca

Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated as the day to express love and affection to our beloved ones in honor of Saint Valentine. Although the origins of Valentine’s Day are somewhat unclear, one popular legend is that Valentine was a 3rd century Roman priest who lived under the rule of Emperor Claudius II. To strengthen his army, Emperor Claudius outlawed all marriages for young men believing that single men made better soldiers than those that were married. However, Valentine, a romantic priest at heart, continued to secretly perform marriages against Emperor Claudius II’s unjust law, and when his defiance was discovered, he was thrown into jail and sentenced to death on February 14. Before his death, Valentine wrote a letter to a woman he loved, signing it “Your Valentine.” Today, the expression is widely used and the tradition continues with exchanging of love notes in the form of “Valentines.”

Natasha Kyssa. Join SimplyRaw on Saturday February 5th from 2-4pm for aValentine’s Special raw food prep workshop. The class promises to be a fun, interactive way to learn how to make delicious foods that will tempt your palate & nourish your soul!

Although we may never know the true identity and story behind the man named St. Valentine, this much is for certain: Valentine’s Day is considered to be the most romantic time of the year where lovers express and reaffirm their love for one another. It also ranks the second largest card-sending holiday. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion mass produced valentine cards are sent each year!

While the emphasis is placed on romantic cards, hearts and love, the majority of people show their affection with edible gifts that are not so “heart-healthy.” Sugary, high-calorie chocolates, candy, and other cholesterol-laden desserts are commonly exchanged between lovers, friends and family members as tokens of their love and appreciation.

I find it ironic that we want our Valentines to be ours “forever” yet feed them harmful foods that play a role in heart disease, blood acidity, sugar spikes, candida, diabetes, and obesity. Shouldn’t we express our love with nurturing gifts that prolong – and not shorten – their lives? After all, how can anyone be happy if we don’t possess good health?

Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolate and for many people, incomplete without indulging in something sinfully-rich. If you eat chocolate, why not choose one that is of better quality? One that is raw, dairy and sugar-free? Or better yet, use carob or raw cacao to create your own special mouth-watering treats made with love and healthy ingredients!

Love is definitely in the air during the month of February and if you’re like most people, you’ll be celebrating at a fabulous restaurant over an extravagant meal, rich in atmosphere – and for non-vegans, cholesterol. This year, why not skip the crowded restaurant and surprise your sweetheart with your own romantic, full-course dinner at home? Nothing says love like a delicious, home-prepared meal, especially when followed with a dazzling raw dessert. All it takes is a little creativity and plenty of candlelight. As an added bonus, you won’t be compromising your health – or waistline!

Greeting cards, edible treats and flowers aren’t the only gifts you can give. How about the gift of togetherness? It is, after all, the deep emotional connection between lovers and families that matter most on this day. Personally, I like to sneak off to the Gatineau Park to spend the afternoon snowshoeing with my husband Mark. For me, nothing comes close to warming up in the log cabin, and sharing a simple raw lunch after a good workout in the crisp, clean air.

No matter how we celebrate, Valentine’s Day is an occasion to express our affection to the special people in our lives. And, giving healthy gifts show them just how much we care about them. After all, don’t we want our sweethearts to be around for a very long time?

Happy Loving!
Natasha

Natasha Kyssa is the author of “The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual,” and owner of SimplyRaw. She facilitates a life-changing detox program, and teaches delicious “Life In the Kitchen” food classes. See http://www.simplyraw.ca or call /(613)234-0806 for dates.


Milk: the perfect food — for a calf!

Natasha Kyssa.
By Natasha Kyssa
www.simplyraw.ca

We’ve all seen the ad campaigns on television, billboards and in magazines. In fact, just about every editorial publication has an entire page dedicated to celebrities wearing the white moustache and endorsing cow’s milk as the “perfect food” for humans. The dairy industry is spending billions of dollars on marketing campaigns to coerce the public into believing that “milk does a body good.” This dedicated advertising campaign has been so successful that most people view milk commercials as more of a public service announcement than a shrewd attempt for corporate profit.

Milk’s main selling point is calcium, and North Americans are encouraged to drink several glasses of milk every day in order to prevent osteoporosis. No wonder we are such a dairy obsessed culture! We consume the highest amount of dairy products worldwide – ingesting the creamy white stuff multiple times a day – on its own, with cereal, cookies, in coffee, milkshakes – we even warm it up in order to get a good night’s sleep! But did you know that North America also has the highest incidence of osteoporosis?

The truth is, contrary to what the glossy ads proclaim, there are many studies indicating that drinking cow’s milk actually increases the risk osteoporosis. “Dairy products contain sodium and animal protein, both of which encourage calcium losses.” writes Dr. Neal Barnard, MD, and President of The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.All animal products create an acidic environment in the body. Your body must neutralize this acid by leaching calcium – an alkaline mineral – from the bones. Eventually, this calcium is flushed from the body, which, over years, can result in osteoporosis. “It’s time [milk] ads stop pretending there are no health risks from drinking milk,” Dr. Bernard goes on to say.

What the ad campaign conveniently fails to tell us is that all dairy products (including organic milk, yogurt and kefir!) are loaded with high levels of cholesterol, and “skim” or not, saturated fat – contributing significantly to cardiovascular disease. Studies are also linking the consumption of casein – a protein present in dairy – to allergies, asthma, bloating, IBS, stomach pain, migraines, tumors, as well as breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancers.

As if this isn’t bad enough, cows are injected with artificial growth hormones and forced to produce many more times the milk than they would naturally. Hooked to electronic milking machines by their udders, the cows suffer electronic shocks, painful lesions and mastitis – a condition which can increase the amount of pus, for which the cows are given antibiotics. And where do you think these hormones, antibiotics, and pus subsequently end up? Yes — in that thick glass of milk.

So how do you get your calcium fill without consuming milk and dairy products? From the same place cows do! Yes, dark leafy greens – the vegetables mom used to make us eat: collard greens, broccoli, bok choy, and kale are all excellent sources of calcium. Sea vegetables, sesame seeds, tahini, chia, and figs are also high quality, calcium-rich foods.

Non-dairy “milk” alternatives such as soy, rice, hemp, coconut, oat and almond milks are a great way of providing the body with wholesome nutrition. Although they are much healthier options to dairy, keep in mind that they are still processed with additives, and create acid in the body. Remember, fresh is always best!

At our home, we prepare a large jug of (nut) mylk, and keep it in the fridge to add to smoothies or cereal. Nut and seed mylks are surprisingly easy to make. They are loaded with good-for-you nutrition without the cholesterol, hormones, fat, and mucus. Plus, they’re delicious too! Try the following recipe and leave the milk for the calves!

INSTANT HEMP MYLK (makes 2-3 servings)

* 4 cups water
* 1 cup hemp seed
* a few dates, or maple syrup (or a few drops of stevia)
* 1 TBSP alcohol-free vanilla extract
* Blend all of the ingredients until creamy and smooth. Refrigerate.

Natasha Kyssa is the author of The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual, as well as the founder of SimplyRaw. She has been living a raw vegan lifestyle for 20 years. www.simplyraw.ca

Eating at La Belle Verte

By Pamela

It’s my birthday, which means it was up to my sweetie to figure out dining plans. He decided on La Belle Verte (166 rue Eddy in Hull).  It opened around this time last year, which is super awesome for anyone who is interested in healthy eating. We don’t get there very often because it has relatively short hours, and we rarely brave crossing the river during rush hour.  But for my birthday, we made an exception.

This is the appetizer we ordered, and devoured.

For those of you who don’t know, La Belle Verte is a mostly-vegan (some dishes contain honey), mostly raw-food restaurant in downtown Hull about five minutes over the Chaudière Bridge.  It’s mostly a lunchtime destination. The place is cheery and open concept, with mismatched tables and chairs and an old piano (which someone played beautifully through much of our meal.)  A display case shows off the desserts, and you can watch while your meal is prepared if you choose.

Kale chips = Nom.

We ordered a raw appetizer, that consisted of various raw pates and cheezes along with raw vegetables and dehydrated seed crackers. It was nice.  The proportion of stuff to dip into was pretty well matched with the number of things that were dippable.  I also ordered a side of kale chips, because LBV makes delicious kale chips. I have a dehydrator (which I purchased as a result of being inspired by LBV’s kale chips) but my chips are not as good, no matter how hard I try. Having them is a treat for me, because they aren’t really a budget-minded option.  I’ve had many omnivores try them, only to be very surprised by their deliciousness.

For my main course I had the peanut thai tofu sandwich, which comes on chapati bread with carmelized onions, red peppers, alfalfa sprouts, and shredded carrots. It also comes with some mushrooms, but as I loathe and detest them I requested they not be on my sandwich. My partner had a tofu mushroom burger, which was similar to mine only inverted (lots of mushrooms, less tofu) and came with a generous salad. I actually forgot to take photos until I’d already finished eating it. The sandwiches were delicious.

I actually skipped dessert as most of them combined chocolate with fruit, which isn’t a favorite of mine. The chocolate tarte, which I have enjoyed in the past, seemed to have raisins in it this time. Raisins are another thing I intensely dislike.  However, if you’re looking for extremely decadent, yet surprisingly healthy vegan desserts, LBV is a great place to find them.

If you’re looking for a light, healthy, but delicious meal, this is a good place to come. If you’re looking for super-rapid and attentive service, that is not the forte here. But that’s ok. They’re plenty nice, you just might have to remind the server that your meal came with a salad.

Septembre. ~ 12 weeks.

To close, I’m going to share a photo of my adorable kitten, who I love very much. She sat beside me while I wrote this. Her name is Septembre. Her mom was a stray my cousin took in. Please say no to breeders, and always adopt!

‘Tis the season for soup

By Pamela

All summer long, soup is the enemy. It’s hot, it’s hearty, and it’s the last thing I want to eat when it’s 30C. But now that winter is arriving, the soup’s on nearly every night.

Currently, my favourite soup to make is one I just made up: kale and white bean. It of course has lots of garlic as well, some tomato, and I even throw some nutritional yeast in. It’s the total package. Kale is about the healthiest thing ever, and the other ingredients aren’t too shabby either. Everyone at my house loves it. It’s also supergood to send in someone’s lunch the next day. The best part: it’s really easy to make, and uses simple ingredients.

Kale and white bean soup
Serves 6

1 onion, finely minced
A bunch of garlic, also finely minced
One tomato, chopped up
6 cups vegetable stock
2-3 cups of shredded kale
1 can of white beans
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
A generous amount of pepper

Sautee the onion in some olive oil. Throw in the garlic and tomato.

Add veg stock, and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Eat, with crackers or without.

More joys of nutritional yeast

By Pamela

When I was first thinking about becoming vegan, it was long before vegan cheeses were palatable or even available. I used to post on a well-known vegetarian message board, and it was there that a very kind vegan took me under his wing and introduced me to nutritional yeast. He even sent me some by mail all the way from the Southern United States, because I had no idea where to buy it in Ottawa.

Nutritional yeast.

(He actually sent it twice, because the first time he sent it, it was confiscated by customs! I eventually received the first package many months after the second one arrived.)

Nutritional yeast is super healthy (as its name implies), and also very delicious. Not so much on its own, but it is very versatile and can be used to make nice cheezy sauces. Given that I used to be a cheese-a-holic in my pregan days (yes, it IS possible to stop eating it and still enjoy food and life), that’s a good attribute for something to have.

Nutritional yeast is a source of protein and vitamins, especially B vitamins, and is a complete protein. It’s also low in fat and sodium. Some brands, although not all, are fortified with vitamin B12. Nowadays it can be found at virtually any health food store, it’s at Loblaws, and even Bulk Barn.

"Faux poulet"
I’m going to share one of my favorite nutritional yeast recipes, that also incorporates another favorite at our house: faux chicken. I’m not huge on fake meats, but this one, like nutritional yeast, is amazingly versatile and can stand in for any recipe that calls for chicken breast. They’re made by President’s Choice and are widely available at Loblaws and its sister stores for about $12.99 for eight “breasts.” As the five year old at home puts it, “Le faux poulet…c’est très bon.”

Here’s my recipe (original as far as I know, I didn’t source it from anywhere). Please forgive me if it comes out a bit weird, I don’t actually follow a recipe for this and it’s my best guess:

Cheezy pasta with greens
(Serves four)

About 300 grams of rice pasta (rotini or penne)
2 breasts of faux poulet, cut into strips
3 cups of kale/spinach (small pieces)
One tomato, diced
about 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 TB olive or flax oil
salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp. Red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)

Cook the pasta. Drain. Rinse.

While it’s cooking, in the biggest frying pan you’ve got water saute the greens, tomato and the faux poulet until greens are limp and the poulet is warmed through.

Dump the pasta in. Stir everything around. Add the oil, nutritional yeast, seasonings. Stir it all around until well-combined. If you’d like it to be a bit creamier add some more oil or water. Keep on low heat until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Cheezy pasta with greens.

“Enviropigs”- A needlessly complex (and unkind) “solution”

Last week The Globe and Mail ran an article about transgenic pigs, that are being developed to be more enivronmentally friendly. They’re dubbed, “Enviropigs.” The article can be read here:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/global-food/canadas-transgenic-enviropig-is-stuck-in-a-genetic-modification-poke/article1812708/

The NCVA sent the following response as a letter to the editor:

Re: Canada’s transgenic Enviropig is stuck in a genetic modification poke

It is clear from this article that there is a widespread and growing acceptance that our current system of agriculture is environmentally unsustainable. For many people, this alarm was first sounded with the 2006 United Nations report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” which emphasized the environmental degradation caused by much of the world’s love affair with meat. The livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions – 18 per cent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation.

Acknowledging that a problem exists is the first step towards finding a solution. However, the solution that’s being touted—producing genetically modified, so-called environmentally friendly livestock—is an unnecessarily convoluted and problematic response, especially considering that there is a much simpler, safer, and kinder option.

Perhaps transgenic livestock have the potential to relieve some environmental burden, but that solution does little to address the additional environmental issues arising from raising livestock, and nothing to address the moral and ethical aspects that we must—as a thinking and supposedly just society—take under consideration.

There are plenty of protein and nutrient rich foods that people can eat and thrive on, and bypass all of these concerns, such as lentils, beans, rice, leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes, grains and seeds, and hemp. Plant-based foods by nature require less resources to produce, and are less polluting.

A 2010 United Nations report ( the UNEP’s international panel of sustainable resource management) stated that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change. The report stated, “Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products…A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”

Unfortunately many people still associate meat with affluence, but their health, the environment, and the animals pay dearly for this perception. The good news is that there have never been more resources available to people who are willing to make this shift, and there’s never been a better—or more important time—to do so.

National Capital Vegetarian Association
Ottawa
http://www.ncva.ca